BEVERLY HILLS, CA – October 24, 2016 On Friday, a jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of Playboy and against Play Beverages and CirTran Beverage, awarding Playboy $7 million in damages. Iehab Hawatmeh is a principal of the defeated Play Beverages and CirTran Beverage, as well as of CirTran Corporation.
The case was brought in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, as Play Beverages/CirTran continued to sell and to market energy drink products using Playboy trademarks, even though the license to use such trademarks had ended.
Following a full trial, the jury issued a complete victory to Playboy on all counts. The jury found that PlayBev/CirTran committed counterfeiting and willful trademark infringement and engaged in willful deceptive practices.
The jury also determined that the license agreement had ended and Play Beverages had breached the agreement. In a further validation of Playboy’s actions, the jury concluded that Playboy had NOT breached the agreement or interfered with CirTran’s contracts with distributors, and did NOT act in bad faith or engage in conspiracy. The jury rejected all of PlayBev’s/CirTran’s claims.
The jury verdict makes clear that no one other than Playboy has legitimate rights to use the Playboy brand in connection with energy drink products.
Playboy will strongly enforce its favorable judgment against PlayBev/CirTran to stop Iehab Hawatmeh’s companies from engaging in infringing and counterfeiting activities. In addition, Playboy will continue to vigorously defend its trademarks throughout the world as it has done in this case.
Playboy’s trial counsel were Pete Ross of Browne George Ross LLP and Eddie Feldman of Miller Shakman & Beem LLP.
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About Playboy Enterprises, Inc.
Playboy is one of the most recognized and popular consumer brands in the world. Playboy Enterprises, Inc. is a media and lifestyle company that markets the brand through a wide range of media properties and licensing initiatives. The company publishes Playboy magazine in the United States and licenses foreign editions of Playboy around the world; operates Playboy.com, a leading men’s lifestyle and entertainment site; and creates content for distribution via television networks, websites, mobile platforms and radio. Through licensing agreements, the Playboy brand appears on a wide range of consumer products in more than 180 countries, as well as retail stores and entertainment venues. For more information about Playboy Enterprises, please visit www.PlayboyEnterprises.com.